Thursday, July 19, 2018

News & Notes.

1. 11th Circuit Judge Robin Rosenbaum, known for her fun writing style, starts an opinion this way:

To say that the 1980 United States Men’s Olympic Hockey Team had the odds stacked against it would be an understatement. With a roster of amateur players whose age averaged 22, the U.S. team had been routed 10-3 by the Soviet team less than two weeks before the Olympics began.1 And that was not surprising since the Soviet team was filled with seasoned professionals, had won the past four Olympic gold medals, and had not even lost an Olympic game since 1968.2 Beating the Soviet team seemed impossible. Yet on February 22, 1980, the U.S. team—led by Coach Herb Brooks—did exactly that, scoring a 4-3 “Miracle” win.3
Our history contains many such stories of triumphs over long odds. This, however, is not one of those.
Plaintiffs-Appellants—a lawyer, his law firm, and associated parties—urge creative arguments to avoid their bank’s compliance with Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) summonses for their account records. But forget about tough odds the U.S. hockey team faced, Plaintiffs face-off with something even more formidable: the Supreme Court’s holdings long ago in United States v. Miller, 425 U.S. 435 (1976), and United States v. Powell, 379 U.S. 48 (1964). Those cases completely foreclose Plaintiffs’ arguments. For this reason, neither Plaintiffs nor their law-firm clients whose interests Plaintiffs attempt to invoke have a viable Fourth Amendment objection to the IRS’s collection of Plaintiffs’ bank records from Plaintiffs’ bank. We therefore affirm the district court’s order denying the quashing of the IRS’s summonses.

2. Trump is getting appellate judges confirmed at an incredibly fast clip. From the Hill:

Senate Republicans broke a record on Wednesday for the number of appeals court judges confirmed during a president's first two years.

Senators voted 50-49 on Andrew Oldham's nomination to be a judge on the 5th Circuit, making him Trump's 23rd circuit court judge confirmed since he took office last year.

That breaks the previous record set by President George H.W. Bush, who got 22 appeals court judges confirmed during his administration's first two years.

These are young, smart, and conservative judges who will make a real change in our judiciary.


Anonymous said...

Thank goodness the tide is turning against the crazy Obama judges.

Anonymous said...

Rosenbaum is grandstanding. Federal judges (unless your name is Scalia and you are deceased)have no business tuning a rudimentary opinion into a piece of creative writing more fit for a magazine spread in Vanity Fair or Sports illustrated. The comparison or simile of the US hockey team could be inserted into any opinion where the appellant is grasping at straws (99% of appeals). Writing opinions must get boing to have to resort to this type of amateurism.

Anonymous said...

I don't mind an in depth analogy, but you're right. This one, like most of hers, are a stretch that don't carry much persuasive weight. They come off much too cute.

I do like photos in opinions, though, when they show something that deserves to be seen.

Anonymous said...

A cheeky line here and there isn't the end of the world. This was too much.

Anonymous said...

Too many of the opinions now start with a snarky first line - I'm sure meant to draw attention but some are mean spirited. Last month, Judge Ed Carnes started an opinion with "Congress has decided that a gun in the hands of a convicted felon is not just bad, but bad enough to be a crime. That legislative decision, coupled with his own bad conduct, proved to have bad consequences for Jose Luis Morales in the form of more than 15 years imprisonment. In this appeal he makes a number of arguments against his conviction and sentence, none of which are good, at least not good enough to prevail." Demeaning the arguments of someone who received a 15 year sentence is just extra mean spirited. Also since Judge Carnes was reversed in Curtis Johnson by the Supremes, maybe he should remember that the arguments he disparages may come back another day as the established law.